Rencontres de Moriond QCD 2012: Searches for Dark Matter, SUSY and other exotic particles

The fact that SUSY and other new physics signals do not seem to hide in “obvious” places is bringing a healthy excitement to Moriond. Yesterday’s presentations confirmed that, with the 2012 LHC data, experiments will concentrate on searches for exotic particles that might decay into yet unexplored modes. In the meantime, they are setting unprecedented boundaries to regions where new particles (not just SUSY) could exist. The limits of what particle accelerators can bring to enlighten the mystery of Dark Matter were also presented and discussed.


Each bar on the picture represents a decay channel that the ATLAS Collaboration (top) and the CMS Collaborations (bottom) have analysed.  The value indicated on the scale (or on the relevant bar) defines the maximum mass that the particle in that search cannot have.

Not knowing what kind of new physics we should really expect, and given the fact that it does not seem to be hiding in any of the obvious places, experiments are sharpening their knifes and broadening their searches. Yesterday, both ATLAS and CMS presented impressive results (see pictures) of searches for tens of possible new phenomena. So far there is no discovery, which implies that scientists are setting boundaries to where the new physics can still exist.

The contribution that collider physics data can bring to the solution of dark matter was discussed by Tim Tait from University of California, Irvine. Tim showed that the analysis of the data we have so far might imply that SUSY plays no role in Dark Matter. Also, the probability of direct observation of Dark Matter particles (so-called “WIMPS” for “Weakly Interacting Massive Particles”) at LHC experiments is complementary to other experiments, such as XENON and Fermi. In particular, collider experiments seem to be better placed to study low mass regions, whereas the others become more effective at higher masses.

You can access all the Moriond QCD presentations here.

by CERN Bulletin